Seven-run eighth lifts Richmond Flying Squirrels

richmond-squirrelsRichmond (50-45) erupted for seven runs in the eighth inning to back a bullpen start from Yoan Gregorio in an 8-0 victory over Akron on Tuesday night at The Diamond. The Squirrels nursed a 1-0 lead into the late innings until they exploded by sending 12 men to the plate in the eighth. The Squirrels improved to 5-0 vs. Akron (50-47) on the season. Richmond will attempt the series sweep on Wednesday at 12:05 with LHP Kelvin Marte on the mound.

Engel Beltre propelled the eighth inning against reliever Luis Head with a base hit to left. Rando Moreno and Hunter Cole both followed with bunt base hits to load the bases. Mitch Delfino then created some separation from Akron with a base hit for a 2-0 lead. Ricky Oropesa and Austin Slater did the same for a 5-0 advantage. The first six batters reached against Head in the eighth frame. Head retired Myles Schroder on a fly ball and subsequently walked Eliezer Zambrano to load the bases. Head chucked a wild pitch to make it 6-0 and Jesus Galindo and Beltre worked two more hits to cap the seven run frame.

The Squirrels bullpen authored the club’s eighth shutout of the season in a spot start for Joan Gregorio. Gregorio retired the first 10 batters he faced in just his second start of the season.  The righty worked four scoreless innings and allowed just an infield single to Yandy Diaz for the only blemish of the night. He struck out three on 52 pitches. Gregorio received the no decision in the outing.

The Richmond relief corps of Kyle Crick, Steven Johnson, Jose Casilla, Derek Law and Phil McCormick guided the contest to the finish to blank the RubberDucks. Crick (2-4) earned the win with a scoreless fifth inning of work. Crick relieved Gregorio in the fifth inning and worked around a lead of walk to Carlos Moncrief. Crick pitched and walked to the first hitter in the sixth, Ryan Rohlinger, and was removed for right hander Stephen Johnson. With two outs, Johnson walked Diaz and then induced a groundball to strand a pair of runners.

The Squirrels took advantage of two errors to score the game’s first run in the fifth inning. Austin Slater lined a base hit to left field and moved to second on a botched pickoff attempt. Myles Schroder moved slater to third on a dribbled ground ball and scored when third baseman Yandy Diaz misplayed a grounder off the bat of Jesus Galindo. LHP Shawn Morimando lasted 5/23 innings in the loss. The lefty was removed once Delfino doubled to right field with two outs in the fifth. He walked a pair and struck out four on 100 pitches.

The Squirrels conclude the homestand Wednesday afternoon with the finale of a three game series against the Akron RubberDucks. Richmond LHP Marte Marte (8-2, 2.31) will make a spot start for the Squirrels against Akron RHP Mike Clevinger (6-5, 2.85). First pitch is set for 12:05PM with the Flying Squirrels Pregame Warmup starting at 11:00AM on Fox Sports 910 and FoxSportsRichmond.com.


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